Surefire E2DL Ultra – Overview
SureFire’s new E2D LED Defender Ultra is the latest addition to the Defender line of flashlights, boasting an increased output of 500 lumens focused by a Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens.
The Ultra, like its predecessor, the E2DL, provides two levels of output controlled by a single tail-cap switch: Press or click once for full output and return to off and press or click again within 2 seconds for a lower intensity 5 lumen output. As with other SureFire Defender flashlights, the E2DL Ultra features a crenelated bezel and scalloped tail cap, both providing defensive options should the need arise.
The E2DL Ultra has a high-strength aerospace aluminum body, with a Mil-Spec hard anodized finish in matte black. The Ultra’s MSRP is $265.
SureFire E2DL Ultra – First Impressions
One of the first things noticeable about the E2DL Ultra is that it is simply a great looking light. It is hard to beat a SureFire E-series light with the black hard-anodized finish, distinctive knurling, and crisp white lettering. The light is compact and lightweight but still feels solid with no obvious defects with regard to fit or finish. The knurling, finish, and scalloped tail cap provide for a secure grip on the Ultra in a variety of holds.
As with the EB1, the batteries in the E2DL Ultra are supported by springs at both the head and the tail, possibly a nod toward use as a weapon mounted light. Also, the Ultra is the first two-celled E-series light to feature SureFire’s 2-way pocket clip previously found on the LX2 Lumamax and A2L Aviator.
In contrast to other recent offerings from SureFire, the E2DL Ultra can be broken down into its component parts (head, body, and tail cap) which are interchangeable with those from earlier E-series lights.
When I first saw the announcement for the E2DL Ultra, I was slightly concerned that the larger head would make the light too front-heavy. However, the Ultra is only slightly longer and heavier than the E2DL and remains balanced well enough for comfortable use. Although the head is larger than before, it’s not excessive and is approximately the same diameter as the EB1 and A2L heads.
200 lumens (1.9 hours*)
500 lumens (2.25 hours*)
5 lumens (76 hours)
5 lumens (67.75 hours)
5.40 inches (137 mm)
5.60 inches (142 mm)
|Weight (w/ Batteries)||
3.7 ounces (105 grams)
4.2 ounces (119 grams)
1.00 inch (25.4 mm)
1.125 inches (28.6 mm)
* Runtime until output drops below 50 lumens
The addition of the 2-way pocket clip permits bezel down carry and it appears the E2DL Ultra bezel was designed with this in mind. Although it still features SureFire’s Strike Bezel design, the teeth are not quite as aggressive as on the E2DL and are slightly beveled, reducing snagging and clothing wear. After carrying it for a couple of days, I can say the Ultra slips in and out of my jeans pocket much easier than I expected.
The SureFire V91 quick-detach holster can also be used to carry the E2DL Ultra in a bezel-up position.
SureFire E2DL Ultra – Performance
The real reason for interest in the E2DL Ultra isn’t due to its nice finish or new pocket clip, but instead due to its 500 lumen rated output, a whopping 150% increase over the E2DL. The result is an extremely versatile beam with a bright white center hotspot and plenty of surrounding light for peripheral vision. The beam exhibits some rings as a result of the TIR optic but these are only noticeable when shining the light on a nearby wall. There is a green tint to the corona around the hotspot similar to the EB1.
Overall, the Ultra’s beam is very useful and almost surprising coming from such a compact light. It effectively combines the intensity needed for distance with the spill needed for area lighting. The bright hotspot was expected but I was very surprised that the E2DL Ultra produces a broader beam than even some XML based lights such as the SureFire Fury and Malkoff Hound Dog.
The following slides show the E2DL Ultra beam compared to a variety of other lights. The beams can be compared across the full width of the image using the slider, while additional images can be accessed by using the navigation buttons in the bottom-right corner.
When run continuously, the E2DL Ultra maintains its initial level of output for only a couple of minutes and then begins a decline over the next 8 or 10 minutes down to about 70-75% of its initial output. It holds that level fairly steady for the next 80 minutes until it drops out of regulation and begins a long taper in output over the next 30 minutes. Finally, near the 140 minute mark, the light began flashing and I ended the test soon afterward.
The E2DL Ultra is a versatile light that projects effective light well over 100 yards but also provides enough spill to illuminate the general area. Its compact size and 2-way pocket clip allow for a variety of EDC and usage options.
- Versatile and useful beam
- Good runtime (although at less than full output) with long taper as batteries become depleted.
- Addition of 2-way pocket clip – one of the best in the business.
- Parts compatibility with other E-series lights.
- Trademark aggressive styling of the Defender lights is not acceptable or appealing to everyone.
- Only maintains initial output for a short time.
One of the most interesting things about the E2DL Ultra is the hint it gives of other possibilities such as future conversion heads, perhaps a 500 lumen KX2C replacement, which could be used on other E-series lights.
The Ultra’s head fits and works perfectly (EDIT: it works almost perfectly, see comments below) with the LX2 body and 2-stage tail switch, evoking thoughts of the LX2 Ultra, which did not make it into production. A non-crenelated bezel combined with the LX2’s tail switch would be a winning combination. SureFire are you listening?
The Ultra is compatible with SureFire’s F04-A Diffuser, F05-A Red Filter, and F06-A Blue Filter. See these attachments in action in their mini-review.
For similar styling in a smaller package, be sure to check out our review of the SureFire E1D LED Defender. A single-cell 300 lumen pocket rocket!
Additional information on the E2D LED Defender Ultra can be found on the SureFire website. Share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.
Have you ever wanted to know what goes into the production of SureFire flashlights? Check out our exclusive Behind the Scenes look at the SureFire machining and production facilities in Orange County, California.